WordPress SMTP Settings: A How-To Guide for Email

Email is a high-powered marketing tool for your website. For every $1 invested into email marketing, there is an average return on investment of $44, according to Campaign Monitor. To secure the best results for your email marketing efforts, it’s important to understand WordPress SMTP settings and email deliverability.

Your WordPress.com site uses PHP email settings by default. However, emails sent from your website using PHP mail could end up in your contacts’ spam or junk folders with many major email clients. By switching to Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), you could improve deliverability and email marketing results. SMTP is a standard protocol for sending emails through servers, helping you stay fully informed of email status and control email lists.

How to configure WordPress SMTP settings

1. Install a plugin

To switch from PHP to WordPress SMTP settings, you’ll need to install a plugin such as WP Mail SMTP. After installation, head to your admin dashboard and select Settings and then Email for configuration.

2. Add sender details

To configure your new settings, add an email address for sending email, such as yourname@yourdomain.com. Add a “From” name to replace the email address in users’ inboxes, such as your full name.

3. Choose mailer settings

When prompted to choose a mailer, select Other SMTP. Next, you’ll need to check the box for Return-Path to ensure any notifications for undelivered emails or non-delivery notifications are sent to your email.

4. Configure SMTP options

To finalize your WordPress SMTP settings, you will need to enter an SMTP host and port. If you’re unsure, contact your email and WordPress host.

5. Add encryption

Next, add encryption settings for your email communications. Your hosting provider can recommend the use of TLS or SSL to protect sent emails.

6. Authentication and provider credentials

Opt in to authentication when prompted and enter your SMTP credentials. Your SMTP username should be your email address, and your password should be secure.

7. Save and test

Save all changes and perform testing for your new settings. Head to your plugins setting page and click Email, then enter an alternate email account for testing. Next, click Send to ensure your SMTP settings are working.

Email is an invaluable tool for marketing your site. By switching from PHP defaults to SMTP for email forwarding, you can improve deliverability and oversight. Of course, if you already have a WordPress.com website, learn more about adding email or using MailChimp for your email marketing program.


Jasmine Henry

Jasmine is a freelance technology writer, with interests in UX, mobile optimization, and web design trends. She's also a Project Management Professional with an academic background in Informatics and Analytics.

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